SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market has crept up to within 100 points of its record high as investors appear unconcerned by a Reserve Bank rates decision later on Tuesday.
A broad-based rally on Wall Street overnight helped the local market move higher on Tuesday to be within range of the ASX200 record high of 7632.8 points from August.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 53.9 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 7567.6 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 54.2 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7873.1.
Technology shares were best performers and higher by three per cent after Wall Street rallied on tech stocks.
Energy shares were next best and up two per cent as the Brent crude oil price was higher to $US109.25 per barrel as the US and Europe prepare more sanctions against Russia for its war on Ukraine.
Investors do not expect the Reserve Bank to hike rates in its monetary policy decision but will be focused on commentary of the rates outlook.
The US Federal Reserve last month increased rates for the first time since 2018 and will publish its meeting minutes mid-week.
Macquarie Group was higher by half a per cent to $207.28 despite the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announcing court action against Macquarie Bank for failing to prevent financial advisers charging illegal fees to customers.
Macquarie failed to prevent millions of dollars in authorised transactions between 2016 and 2020, ASIC alleged.
The regulator is seeking fines and orders to review the financial provider’s systems.
The big four banks were all higher. Westpac was best and up one per cent to $24.15.
Miner Western Areas plan to merge with rival IGO is in doubt after an independent expert has recommended the proposed takeover is not in investors’ best interest.
Western Areas’ board had recommended investors accept the $1 billion offer, or $3.36 per share, before delaying due to big movements in nickel prices.
IGO said its long term view of the nickel price had not changed.
Western Areas shares were paused from trading. They last sold for $3.65.
IGO was down almost three per cent to $14.56.
The mining giants were little changed. BHP had the biggest move in either direction. It lost less than half a per cent to $52.30.
The competition watchdog will not take any action on Qantas upgrading its stake in Alliance Aviation.
Qantas bought almost 20 per cent of its regional competitor in 2019 and did not seek ACCC clearance. The ACCC later said it was investigating the purchase.
The watchdog did not outline why it would not be acting against the purchase.
Qantas was up less than half a per cent to $5.18.
Alliance Aviation was up almost three per cent to $3.86.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 75.39 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 75.13 US cents at Monday’s close.